Letter from President Michael R. Anderson

Michael Anderson, MD, President, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals

Letter from President Michael R. Anderson

October 2019

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

In 2014, we made an ambitious commitment to align UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital Oakland, two highly regarded institutions driven by a common mission to deliver the very best care to every child, train the next generation of providers, and advance research to improve child health. Since then, our focus has been on creating a best-in-class integrated children’s health enterprise that will successfully and sustainably support the health and well-being of children in the Bay Area and beyond, for the next 100 years.

I chose to specialize in pediatric critical care because I wanted to bring the latest in translational science to the bedside of every child, while caring for our community’s most vulnerable children and their families. At UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, I am proud to work with an outstanding team of professionals who share that desire and who are dedicated, first and foremost, to helping kids.

Throughout the Bay Area, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals fill a critical gap for patients who need advanced care but are unable to pay for it themselves. In Oakland, about 70 percent of our patients are covered by Medi-Cal, as are about 56 percent of our pediatric patients in San Francisco. Over the last five years, we have invested deeply in our Oakland campus to ensure it remains a world-class safety-net hospital that serves all children, regardless of financial or immigration status. We are proud of our unwavering commitment to serve this public need in the current challenging and competitive health care environment, while maintaining an equal commitment to financial stewardship in order to ensure our Oakland hospital is sustainable and fiscally sound.

We also are unyielding in our dedication to invest in key programs and to recruit premier physicians and researchers to lead and fortify these programs. In psychiatry and mental health, for instance, we are expanding services on our Oakland campus to address the acute shortage of mental health care for children and adolescents in the East Bay. We also have reestablished Oakland-based programs in dermatology, rheumatology, and sports concussion, and have built new faculty practices in orthopedics, ear/nose/throat, and pulmonology. In addition to growing our specialty practices, we are bolstering clinical research programs to support our united goal of advancing scientific discovery and quickly translating breakthroughs for the benefit of all children.

Despite challenges, both unique to us and throughout the health care industry at large, we are distinguishing what success can and should look like. As a combined organization, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals rank among the nation’s preeminent children’s hospitals, according to U.S. News & World Report’s annual survey for 2019-20, with the top scores in Northern California in five specialties, and all ten surveyed specialties among the best nationwide. These results are in large part due to the combined strength of our affiliation and our efforts in physician integration, efficiencies, research and growing specialty programs.

This recognition reflects the caliber of the two institutions before we affiliated, as well as the work we have done together. We will continue to grow that success through a collaborative approach anchored in transparency and reinforced by accountability. That means balancing our leadership and governance across the Bay, while still maintaining our separately licensed status, and continuing to focus on the quality of care and scientific excellence that has brought us to where we are now.

I invite you all to explore the resources below and learn more about the great work being done at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, and how our integration is furthering our capabilities. Throughout our integration and looking to the future, we remain firm in our commitment to underserved children on both sides of the Bay, and to those in need across our nation and the world.

Together, our two campuses have the opportunity and responsibility to transform pediatric medicine and children’s health. We have chosen the path forward that will ensure we can sustainably fulfill our commitment to the children and families we are privileged to serve.


Michael R. Anderson, MD, MBA, FAAP
President, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals